Sunday, June 23, 2024

“Pharaoh of whales”… Egyptian scientists have discovered a new whale that lived 41 million years ago.


A research team led by Egyptian scientists has managed to trace the race and species of extinct whale ancestors that lived in Egyptian waters 41 million years ago.

The Egyptian team documented their discovery in a research paper published today in the journal “Communication Biology” published by the International Nature Foundation, one of the world’s most important scientific journals.

Egyptian paleontologist Professor Hisham Salam, head of the research team, said: “The fossil that led to this major discovery was discovered in 2012 by Dr. Mohamed Sameh, a United Nations heritage management expert and lead author of the paper, The Fayum Depression, and since its discovery, it will prove an important point. was sure, and in 2017 he brought it to the Mansoura University Vertebrate Center, and the center’s team began working on it over the years until it ended with its discovery associated with a new whale.

Salam added to the “Al-Hurrah” website, “The fossil was relatively large, weighing more than 30 kilograms, and because it was a block of rock, it had to be scientifically broken to preserve it, and it was taken out. At long last, when it was done, it contained a skull, Jaws and teeth were found, and initially we believed it was an amphibious whale, but to our surprise it was a fully aquatic whale that lived in water.”


As Abdullah Kohar, one of the main authors of the scientific paper, explained, a group of scientists associated with the legendary Egyptian king Tutankhamun named their discovery “Dutchets”. The name came about because of the similarity between them. character for new revelation.

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Salam notes, “The new whale belongs to the extinct Basilosaurus family of whales, which represent the first stages of a full life in the water after their ancestors moved from land, although this group of whale ancestors developed fish-like characteristics. Such as the modification of the front end of the fins, the length of the spines and the development of a fin.” tail, but they had hind legs so visible that they were called legs, and were not used for walking. Because of their small size.

The length of the discovered whale was 2.5 meters, while its weight was approximately 187 kilograms, indicating its small size. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Mohammad Sameh, “The whale was able to swim efficiently. Like the descendants of dolphins living today, it could dive to various depths.”

The discovered whale, which lived 41 million years ago, was in the “dental” stage, but its teething pattern was somewhat different, especially with a smaller skull than is usual for whales, but the team of scientists said that “the whale’s first built subjects indicate that it is younger.” He also has children once a year.

Salam confirms that the ancient Fayum region in Egypt has been a magnet for whales for millions of years, and that the global warming phenomenon the world witnessed millions of years ago is the reason for this large number of whales in the area. The mouths of rivers provide food for these creatures.

Importance of new invention

The significance of the discovery of the whale “Totsets” is that it represents an unprecedented understanding of the life history, evolution and ancient geography of the first whales. For all the scientists and researchers who have studied life and its life millions of years ago, the entire scientific team is made up of Egyptian scientists and researchers, says Salam. This is the first time that the scientific designer of the discovery is Egyptian, after scientists previously used foreign designers in their discoveries, but this time the scientific designer Ahmed Morsi of the whale. The pattern was designed by “Dodchets”.

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The new study indicates relatively rapid tooth development in this whale, and given its small size, indicates a relatively fast and developed lifestyle. To create a second embryo, quickly when needed.

Furthermore, the success of this rapid lifestyle can be attributed to the complete adaptation of whales of the Basilosaurus family to life in water, their ability to perform better than their amphibious whale ancestors, and their exceptional ability to adapt to new aquatic habitats after dismemberment. Its land relations, and this change is likely to be all water in the tropics and subtropics, especially Egypt.

Assistant Lecturer of Mansoura University and Ambassador of University of Michigan, USA Dr. Sana Al-Sayed said: “We explained that the small size of this whale could be related to global warming. At that time, which is known to be the maximum temperature of the Lutetian era, or the Dutchet’s whale may have inherited these characteristics from its ancient and less evolved ancestors.

And he added, “Whales today migrate to warmer and shallower waters to breed and breed in conditions similar to those experienced in Egypt 41 million years ago, confirming that the Fayum region was one of the most important breeding and breeding areas in ancient times. Whales – and perhaps ancient whales – migrated from different places. – thing.” It attracted predatory and large whales such as Basilosaurus, and overall, the new whale (Dotchets ryanensis) contributes to the enrichment of ancient world knowledge. Elucidating the importance of the Egyptian fossils in understanding the ancestors of whales and the evolutionary record of these unique species.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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